For the past three winters I have been working on a scrapbook of my 2009 Appalachian Trail thru-hike. On that I hike I took roughly a picture a mile so I ended up with 2,175 photos. From those I picked out my favorites—a mere 1,000 of them (sometimes I think about hauling out such a huge photo album at a family function and clearing out the room as everybody else finds something to do besides look at hiking pictures for a couple hours).
I used Snapfish to upload, edit, and print my photos. They run constant promotions: penny prints, free shipping, new member discount… It still wasn’t cheap to get that many photos, but when I held the two cardboard cartons they came in they were hefty with wonderful memories.
In the winter of ’09 and ‘10 it was my goal to complete the book. I worked steadily; taking over the kitchen table. I cropped pictures, picked out complementary paper, and went through a few packs of photo-mounts. It was evident at the beginning of spring 2010 that I wasn’t going to finish the scrapbook project before I moved to Maryland in May. I left the project in Vermont when I went to Maryland—I didn’t want the photos and paper getting ruined.
|The pages for Mount Mossalokie in New Hampshire|
Again, this winter the goal is to finish the scrapbook. Seriously this time. I have a work space set up in my room and between the gym and planning my PCT hike I worked on my scrapbook. On Monday I finished gluing down the last of the 300 photos. It was with a huge sense of accomplishment when I finished that last page even though I still have to add captions.
|The pages of my scrapbook|
The book has to be done before I leave for California—I’ll have a few thousand new pictures to play with by the end of the PCT. I don’t know if I’ll make a scrapbook for my PCT hike. This one has been a very time consuming project. Snapfish makes beautiful photo books and they run sales on them all the time. As much as I like the hands on approach of the scrapbook a professionally printed photo book has a lot of appeal.
I have learned a few things while putting together this scrapbook. First, as beautiful as the Appalachian Trail is photos of people make for a more interesting book. My goal for the PCT is to take more pictures of people: people in camp, day hikers, trail angels on the trail, people lounging in town, people admiring the view, crossing rivers, eating plates of food as big as their head. Second: Towns are part of the trail, too. My second photo goal is to take more pictures of hikers in town, trail angels, where I eat, and hotel rooms after a pack explosion.
When I look through my A.T. pictures I miss those moments. So if I take your picture on the PCT while you’re cooking dinner, you’ll know why.